Populism and Constitutions
Populist movements are breaking out in many different places: central and Eastern Europe, Greece, Italy, Latin America, and the United States, to name just a few prominent examples. In some cases they go together with the increased demands from government, but the two are not necessarily related.
Populism is often centred on dissatisfaction with government and the institutions of government. In nations such as Bulgaria and Italy, the very system of government, and hence the constitutional order from which it arises, is under attack.
Are these the first stirrings of a new constitutional paradigm in which representative ideas and institutions are discredited and the people are more directly involved? Populist movements have come and gone, but is there now a new force at large with grave consequences for the standard model of republicanism?
The workshop will be opened the previous evening with a keynote speech by leading legal thinker Professor Akhil Amar of Yale Law School, entitled, On the Nature of Constitutions.